Archive for the ‘Vacationing with Scripture’ Category.

Vacationing with Scripture…and a flat tire!

Ka-thunk, Ka-thunk, Ka-thunk….not a good sound at 6:30 AM when we have 12 more hours of driving to get back to Texas from Colorado.  We pull off and confirm our suspicions of a flat tire.

While Tim heroically tackled the tire, the kids and I sat quietly waiting.  That’s when our Vacationing with Scripture verse card caught my eye.
vacaDevote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.  Colossians 4:2

Hmmm….already frustrated that we were losing time on our already long drive home, maybe considering our blessings would be a good idea.

The kids and I started brainstorming what we could be thankful for –
*just off mountain passes
(ie – PAST the steep windy roads and BEFORE the desolation of New Mexico or West TX)
*able to get off the highway before the tire shred to the rim
*not horribly cold (surprising for a Colorado dawn in mid-March!)
*had a spare
*Tim knows how to put on a spare
*big shoulder for changing safety
*nice guy who stopped to see if we needed help
*Siri/Google helped us know where the repair place is
*tire repair shop close by
*tire shop is open early

Suddenly, the flat tire didn’t seem like a big deal anymore!   Yes, it made for a much longer day by adding 2 1/2 hours of repair time to an already 13 hour drive.  However, our hearts were so full of gratitude inspired by God’s Word that we no longer had an appetite for complaining.

Going on a trip this summer? 
Try Vacationing with Scripture!  
Click on the blue link above and scroll down to see more examples as well as a how-to. 

Flat Tire

Refer to your copy of Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments to get ideas for your vacation verse.



Comments Off on Vacationing with Scripture…and a flat tire!   Posted In:     |    Written By: Kara Durbin
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How to Vacation with Scripture

Summer’s comin’ and whether that means a vacation, staycation, or just some scheduled family fun nights, it’s easy to incorporate Scripture!

  1. Pick a verse.
    Our family likes flipping through Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments to find a verse.
  2. Write the verse on a notecard.
    A child or adult can do this depending on the ability of your kid.  My daughter likes to use different colored markers as she writes the verse.  Kids can also decorate the card.
  3. Post it where everyone can see it frequently.
    We usually put it on the dashboard of our car for road trips and/or display it in the main living area of where we are staying.
  4. Pray the verse as a family each morning. 
  5. See how God’s wonderful Word blesses your trip! 
    Each day, thank or praise God through His verse and how it is helping your vacation.  At the end of the trip, imagine what the trip would have been like without the Scripture and compare it to your experience of vacationing with Scripture.

What does Vacationing with Scripture look like in real life? 

For a mini-trip to a drive-through wildlife park, we picked this verse.  We enjoyed praising God through our verse as we marveled at His creation of such amazing animals.

Fossil Rim

For a trip when I got food poisoning and was laid up for 3 days, I recuperated in bed looking at this verse.  Well, stink!  I guess I didn’t get a picture of the verse.  So, I’ll treat you to a snapshot of the fateful lunch when I ate some bad, bad, BAD fish tacos that caused the food poisoning!  I had Tim take the picture because I wanted to remember the moment of the beautiful day, open window, feeling the breeze, so happy…..if I only knew what was coming!

For a trip when my daughter didn’t feel good for most of the week, we had this verse to encourage us.


For a recent road trip to Colorado, we were reminded of being grateful each time we got in the car.  It even challenged us to find ways to be thankful as we were dealing with a flat tire on the 14 hour drive home!  This verse was such a blessing in general that we decided to leave it in the car after the vacation.

Vaca w Scrip - final

My all time favorite vacationing with Scripture experience is detailed here.  A close second is the first time I experimented with vacationing with Scripture.

Our family is big on traditions and this has become a must any time we head out the door for a trip.  I can’t understate the beauty, blessing, encouragement, and exhortation of being mindful of a specific Scripture while we travel.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes! 

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Vacationing with Scripture – Spring Break 2014 Experience

God surprised me this trip in how He used vacationing with Scripture in our lives….well, actually the adults’ lives!  Most of what I do in parenting with Scripture is designed to help teach my kids.  And yet, because God’s Word knows no boundaries of age, I’m often impacted as much or more than my children (which shouldn’t be surprising!).  Such was the case this spring break.

You may remember that a few weeks ago, I shared that my son picked Philippians 4:6-7 as our verse for this trip.  My daughter decorated this card to take along with us as a reminder.  See here about picking a verse and then here and here if you wish to read about our past experiences with vacationing with Scripture.

As we started our 14.5 hour trek from Dallas, TX to Keystone, Colorado, we discussed the verse and how it might apply.  We prayed for travel mercies, health, and safety on the slopes, thanking God as the verse instructs.  But honestly, the verse card sat on the dash and then in our condo, unmentioned for the rest of the week.  It wasn’t until the night before we left that this Scripture became truly alive for me.  We had been watching the weather carefully, knowing that a snowstorm would be hitting our area of the mountains early in the morning.  We decided to leave by 5 AM to try to get out before it started.  I lay in bed that night, unable to sleep, fretting about driving in potentially hazardous conditions.  That’s when Philippians 4:6-7 popped back into my mind.  What a comfort to have a way to work through what we are struggling with through the power of God’s Word!  I followed the instructions in the verse and was able to fall asleep in peace.  I woke up early the next morning and was relieved to see no flurries as I peaked out the window. 

However, as we began descending through the mountain passes in the pre-dawn hours, this was our view out the front windshield. 


During the hour of driving through this on windy, slick roads, I again claimed our vacation verse.  Over and over and over.  It reminded me to be thankful for the snow, as it was the very thing that we drove all the way to Colorado to enjoy!  And enjoy it we had throughout the preceding week. 

13 hours later as we were heading back into the Dallas area, I asked the kids if they had thought about our theme verse at all that week.  Nope.  But, my sister-in-law who was riding with us, and I certainly had!  I shared with the kids my reason to claim the verse and my sister-in-law shared with us a completely different one.  Her daughters (my sweet nieces and my children’s adored older cousins) are both the furthest they’ve ever been away from home and looking for jobs in industries that are a bit precarious.  Turns out, she had been leaning on our trip verse the whole week as she walked through the ups and downs of the job hunt updates with them. 

She and I discussed with the kids how this is a perfect example of why it’s good to hide God’s Word in our heart through memorization…it’s there when we need it!  And, we reminded them that though Mr. 9 year old picked the verse, it was the mommas who needed it this go ’round..reinforcing the point that we don’t outgrow God’s Word!

A few nights later, during our family devotional, I was reminded of our trip verse came up once again.   Our Lenten Tree book reminded us of the story of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness to turn stones into bread.  I asked the kids if they remembered how Jesus fought back?  His Father’s Words…Scripture!  We can do that, too!  Since my son seems to think and often act as if he lives in an adventure movie, anything related to action appeals to him.  I reminded my kiddos about the Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) and how the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God!  We can fight with it just like Jesus did! 

Whack!  Whoosh!  Slice!  Jab!  “Take that, worry!  Be gone, anxiety!”  I exclaimed as I wielded my invisible sword representing Philippians 4:6-7.  That’s what it feels like to use Scripture in a real life battle!

When we are faithful to be in His Word, we will surely be blessed by having it on our hearts and minds. 

To find topical Scriptures, don’t forget to look in your copy of
Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments.






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Vacationing with Scripture – Pick a Verse

One of my favorite things about our family trips is the blessings a “trip verse” brings!   Just as the saying goes…
t-shirt – $15
coffee mug – $10
gift shop trinket the kids think they can’t live without – $8
Vacationing with Scripture experiences and memories = Priceless! 

If your family is traveling this spring break (or summer…just mark your calendar to revisit this idea), consider picking your own trip verse.  It’s as easy as you or your kids flipping through your copy of Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments and asking God to lead you to the Scripture He wants your family to travel with.

To read what our experiences of vacationing with Scripture have looked like, scroll through these previous posts

Here’s the verse my son picked and daughter decorated for our spring break road trip. 




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Vacationing With Scripture – 2013

Kalli picked our theme verse for this year and it’s always interesting to see the way God uses His Word as we vacation with Scripture. 

Be devoted to one another in love.  Honor one another above yourselves.  Romans 12:10

When, may I ask, do kids quit arguing over where they are going sit in the car?!  Our verse was put to use from the get-go as they verbally battled about who got the larger middle section versus the smaller back section of the SUV.  We had just put our verse card on the dashboard, so after a quick reminder, they finally worked things out. 

On to our hotel room in New Orleans with its two double beds.  Tim and I are used to a King, and the verse popped into my mind that first night when I awoke clinging to the edge of the smaller bed.  He wouldn’t have been upset had I shoved him back over to his side.  However, I realized that letting him continue to sleep uninterrupted would be a way to honor him above myself. 

The most amazing chance we had to use this verse came as the kids and I were walking down Canal Street one morning.  We passed by a young woman, maybe in her early 20s, who was sitting and holding a bowl for money and a sign that said “Pregnant and Homeless.  God Bless.”    My daughter asked if we could give her some money.  I told her that I only had a $10 bill with me and that we might need it while we were out.  As we headed back to our hotel later that morning, we were hot and ready to give our legs a rest after walking everywhere around town.  The kids had seen bicycle cabs and wanted to ride one.  We realized this would be a perfect time to catch one since the sun was blazing and we were worn out.  We weren’t sure $10 would be enough payment to get us to our destination, but I said we could ask.  Just then, we passed by the young lady again.  Once more, my daughter quietly petitioned to share our money with her.  After we were out of earshot, we stopped and I gave the kids a choice.  We only had $10.  We could give it to her or we could use it for the bicycle cab.  They both chose to give it to her!  I watched as my daughter ran the money back to her.  The gal looked amazed and somewhat bewildered at this child giving her money.  Then, she looked around to see who my daughter was with.  When she caught my eye, I gave her a thumbs up to let her know we wanted her to have it.  My heart still aches to remember the touched and grateful look on her face.  If my kids hadn’t been with me, I would have loved to have sat down with her to find out more about her and to give her a hug and some encouragement.  But as my children and I walked on, I told them how proud I was of them for their living example of our vacation verse.  They were sacrificially loving and honoring someone else, a stranger no less, above themselves.  Lest you think this is a picture perfect example, I hasten to tell you that one of my children continued to complain about the heat and walking even after our wonderful “lesson.”  Since I was feeling the same things this child was verbalizing, I reminded all of us to lift that lady up in prayer instead of grumbling or complaining.  Our temporary discomfort on that walk was nothing compared to being homeless!

 I’d love to hear your vacationing with Scripture choices and stories!  Please share!

Now, I’d like to give a special shout-out to a couple of the moms I met at our hotel in New Orleans.  Mrs. Patterson, please remind me of your first name and e-mail me if you have the old copy of my book.  If so, I’ll mail you the updated version.  It was a joy meeting you!  Wish Kentucky were closer so I could come speak!  MOPS are my fave! 
And, dearie Kristen Thatcher…God is amazing in orchestrating our poolside connection, isn’t He?  So thankful for the fast friendship you and I and our kiddos made, and look forward to staying in touch!  Blessings to your sweet family!

VWS verse

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Summer Fun Series – Vacationing with Scripture

Consider having a theme verse for your summer trip.
I’ll share a couple of examples to get you thinking.

 “Do everything without complaining or arguing.” Philippians 2:14

Vacations may be fun, but often present numerous opportunities for arguing and complaining.  Going into the trip, with the more positive mindset of this verse can be helpful and make the time more pleasant for everyone.  We were tested on this right off the bat with our Disney World vacation.  Everyone had boarded the plane and we were all ready for take-off, when the pilot announced that we would have to de-board and find another flight because of mechanical issues.  It would have been easy for us to complain about the inconvenience, the possibility of missing our character dinner reservations, etc.  However, with that verse on our minds, we focused instead on being grateful that God spared us from a potentially hazardous flight.

“Let your light so shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”  Matthew 5:16

I love this one because it causes us to think before we act or talk and remember that we are representing Christ wherever we go.  On our way through an airport terminal, we stopped at a Starbucks.  The man in front of him was in full military garb.  My husband, Tim, discreetly leaned forward to the cashier and told him that he would like to pay for the soldier’s order and then thanked the soldier for his service.  Tim’s example was a shining light to our family and I hope the same for the cashier and serviceman.

 Another idea – Thankfulness Vacation Journal:

Another idea is to create a Thankfulness Vacation Journal for the trip.  Before we left for a vacation to Colorado, I made sure to pack several sheets of paper and enough pens for each member of the family.  At the beginning of the trip, each person took a page and numbered up to the total days of our vacation, multiplied by five.  For example, a 7 day vacation would be a list of 35.  Before bedtime each night, we gathered and listed the top five things we were thankful for from the day and then shared them with each other.  My son, who couldn’t write well yet, told me his ideas as I wrote them down for him.  We tried not to repeat anything we had written in the past so we would have unique entries.  It was a special way to end our days and gave us a personalized keepsake for our trip.


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